When starting to play badminton, some concepts might appear a bit strange or alien. One of these alien concepts will most likely be the flick.
What exactly is a flick in badminton? A flick in badminton is a lift to the rear court with an explosive forehand and finger movement. The most common type of flick in badminton is the flick serve, which is mostly used for serves in doubles.
With the fast answer out of the way, let’s clarify some points and also get a bit more information about the flick serve.
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What is a flick in badminton? The in-depth answer
As I said before, a flick in badminton is a lift to the rear court with an explosive forehand and finger movement. The important part of the flick in badminton is the intention of the striker to trick the opponent into believe that the shot will be a net shot.
As a result, flick shots have the same steps as net shots until a few instants before hitting the shuttle. At that point, the striker performs an explosive movement with the forearm while at the same time tightly gripping the handle.
With this movement, instead of performing a net shot, the striker can surprise the opponent with a shot to the rear court.
Are a flick and a lift the same?
This is, I believe, an important decision to make. I have seen other resources online using these two names interchangeably. However, for me, they are totally different. A flick, as I just mentioned, involves an explosive movement at the last instant and the main element is that of a surprise.
As far as lifts are concerned, the main element is not that of a surprise. Most of the time, precision in the shot is more important. Moreover, the whole arm is involved in a lift. Last, I would not classify the movement of a lift as explosive.
What is a flick serve in badminton?
A flick serve is simply a flick that is performed during a serve. As I mentioned before, the most typical flick shot is the flick serve, which is used mostly in doubles. This serve can also be called backhand flick serve because it is performed with the backhand.
The flick serve is used to surprise your opponent in one of the following scenarios:
- Your opponent is pressuring too much the low serve
- Your low serve is not very good and you prefer to start the point defending than losing it after the reception
- Out of the two opponents, the one you are serving to has a much weaker attack and you are trying to use that to your advantage.
Is a flick serve and a high serve the same?
For me, a flick serve and a high serve are not the same. In the flick serve, the main focus is on trying to surprise your opponent by making him or her think that you are performing a low serve and changing your shot at the last moment.
In the high serve, the element of surprise takes a step back or simply disappears and the most important element becomes the precision of the serve.
This is not a very hard distinction, but there is more of a gradient between the two. That is the reason you will see these two names being used interchangeably in other resources. But, for me, keeping the intent of the shot clear is important so I think it is good to differentiate them.
How do you flick serve? Flick serve in badminton step by step
Let’s have a look now at how to perform a flick serve.
Step 1 – Ready position
The ready position needs to be the exact same as when you are going to perform a low serve. So, your racket leg needs to be slightly forward and your non-racket leg needs to be slightly backwards. Your arms need to be forming a sort of an O shape with the racket and the shuttle being in front of your body.
You need to be relaxed in your position. If you are too tight, the flow of the shot will not work, and the chances of performing a bad shot increase.
Step 2 – Hit the shuttle by rotating your forearm and use the fingers to generate power
This is the key step. When you are about to hit the shuttle, instead of performing a low serve, you lift the shuttle to the back of the court by rotating your forearm and using the finger power. To be able to leverage the power from your fingers, the grip needs to be loose before hitting and then tighten it explosively.
Is a flick serve legal?
The flick serve in badminton is legal, as long as you perform it within the rules and do not commit any faults while performing it. Let’s have a quick look at which rules you need to follow and which faults you could potentially commit.
Badminton flick serve rules & faults
The main rules that you need to keep an eye on when doing a flick serve are as follows:
- You cannot stop a service movement once it has started
- You need to hit the base of the shuttle initially
- All the shuttle has to be below waist height when hitting the shuttle
- The racket head and the shaft have to be pointing down while serving
Let’s have a look at each one separately to see what things to keep an eye on when performing a flick serve.
You cannot stop a service movement once it has started
The service movement needs to be continuous. However, when performing a flick serve, some people tend to do stop in the flow of the movement in order to then perform the flick. This will always get you in trouble and if you are playing in a tournament with good umpires, a fault will certainly be called when you try to do that.
You need to hit the base of the shuttle initially
This can be a tricky one for beginners with all the backhand serves. You always need to hit the base of the shuttle as a first point of contact with your racket. When trying to do a flick serve, since you are changing the way you serve, this can become a problem for beginners. However, with practice, you will not even think about it.
All the shuttle has to be below waist height when hitting the shuttle
This is probably the most common fault when serving a flick serve. Because the backhand low serve is already quite high in order to maximize the shot, you need to be careful not to bring the shuttle any higher when performing the flick serve.
Some players, when trying to perform the flick serve, unconsciously move the shuttle and therefore the point of contact a bit up in order to give enough power to the shot. This will get you in trouble.
The racket head and the shaft have to be pointing down while serving
Both the racket head and the shaft need to be pointing down when serving. When doing a flick serve, you need to be careful not to put them too horizontal because that could cause you to commit a fault.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. Should you have any doubts about the flick shot in badminton, let me know in the comments below.
If you would like to know about all the other types of shots in badminton, be sure to check our Badminton Shots Guide.
If you are curious about the different types of services, you will enjoy our Badminton Service Guide.
Last, if you want to know a bit more about the service rules, I recommend that you check our Badminton Rules Compilation.